Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Edin Dzeko targets cup glory with Manchester City

Rejuvenated Edin Dzeko wants to cement his place in City history by bagging a goal in next month’s FA Cup final.

The Blues striker finally broke his league duck with the winner at Blackburn on Monday, and immediately targeted a regular place in the starting line-up and more goals in the remaining six games of the season.

Dzeko admitted he reached the low point of his short career at City when he was left watching the FA Cup semi-final win over United from the bench.

With Carlos Tevez injured, the man who many feel has been bought to replace the Argentina star next season did not even get a kick against the Reds as Mario Balotelli started as a lone striker.

He let manager Roberto Mancini know how unhappy he was at being left out, but then seized his chance just three minutes after coming on at Ewood Park and with City struggling to make the breakthrough.

In the space of nine days he had gone from his lowest point to the highlight of his three months with the Blues.

He afterwards admitted that being named as sub against United had been upsetting.

He also hinted that, though his four goals in the FA Cup and Europa League have almost been discounted by his critics, the late equaliser at Notts County has proved to be a big moment in the Blues’ cup run.

“Of course it was difficult last week, everyone wants to play in a semi-final like that, but maybe I will get my chance in the final,” he said.

“I felt the first goal I got against Notts County was also big for the team and so was Monday night.

“I haven’t scored much but hopefully I’ve got important goals.

“I want to try to get regular starts now. In the last six games the important thing is that the team gets the points they need and also wins the final.

“Then next season maybe it will be a big chance for me to play more and score more goals.”

Dzeko has had to put up with all kinds of question marks against his ability since his move to City but when asked if he had ever doubted himself, the ‘Bosnian Diamond’ fixes you with his eyes and is adamant.

“No, never. Never have I doubted myself because I know what I am capable of,” he said.

“I just need to work hard and I know everything will come back for me.

“I started slowly when I was in the Bundesliga so this is nothing new for me. The new season will be the time for me.”

Dzeko’s winner at Blackburn set the Blues up nicely, taking them four points clear of Spurs in the chase for fourth place and even placing them hot on the heels of flagging, third-placed Arsenal.

Spurs travel to in-form Chelsea on Saturday and Arsenal face leaders United on Sunday, while City take on struggling West Ham at home.

If all three games go to form, City would be seven points clear of Tottenham with four games to play and just two points behind the Gunners with a game in hand.

So the significance of his goal on Monday was not lost on Dzeko.

“Spurs lost points at the weekend, and Arsenal did too,” he said.

“Now we have a home game and we’ll see if we can take advantage.”

If Dzeko has had some stick from certain quarters of the media, the fans have continued to chant his name, and he acknowledged their support at Ewood Park by clapping.

And he said that faith has been important in keeping his spirits up.

“I have to say thank you to them too,” he added.

“I hear them chanting my name – it was an amazing feeling and that goal was for them.

“It’s been tough at times over the last three months but I hope this is a new beginning for me.

“These things happen in football – sometimes you score every game, sometimes not. But it’s great that I got an important goal for the team.”

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